Learning to Innovate with Families Erasmus Project

General information for the Learning to Innovate with Families Erasmus Project

Learning to Innovate with Families Erasmus Project
July 7, 2020 12:00 am

Project Title

Learning to Innovate with Families

Project Key Action

This project related with these key action: Cooperation for innovation and the exchange of good practices

Project Action Type

This project related with this action type : Strategic Partnerships for vocational education and training

Project Call Year

This project’s Call Year is 2016

Project Topics

This project is related with these Project Topics: Overcoming skills mismatches (basic/transversal); Inclusion – equity

Project Summary

1. The context and background of the project was extensive collaborative research undertaken in recent years by the partners into the needs of marginalized families & the effectiveness of professional services provided to them. A major research study by the R&D Centre Linkoping in Sweden and the NTNU, Trondheim Child Welfare Research & Innovation Centre which involved 900 families concluded that despite interventions by a range of professionals, there was often little change in the situation of these families over time due to a lack of innovation skills at practice level and the need for a more collaborative & holistic approach to service delivery. The R & D Centre Linkoping led a related practice based research project, the ‘Family Pilot’ which found that greater impact could be achieved by placing more emphasis on the family’s point of view in identifying & implementing solutions & by a more coordinated case management approach which reduced & prioritized service interventions. The Faculty of Social Work at the University of Ljubljana also led a transnational research programme , ‘ Helping Families in the Community’ which showed that the co creation of solutions between professionals & families & a more multi disciplinary approach could produce better outcomes.

2. The LIFE project sought to build on the findings of this research by developing the methodologies & tools required to enable social workers & related professionals to innovate & adopt more effective interventions in working with families with complex needs & challenges. The specific objectives of the project were;
(i) To undertake a Baseline Study/Needs Analysis to map the competency and skills needs required by social workers/other professionals involved in this work and develop a Competency Framework
(ii) To develop a ‘Knowledge Triangle’ learning model which will use abductive learning to strengthen links between researchers, educators and practitioners working with vulnerable families
(iii) To develop a transferable Innovation Skills Development Programme together with a ‘toolkit’ of supporting learning materials
(iv) To test these products through a pilot programme involving professionals from each partner region who will each work with a small number of families during the course of the programme
(v) To review the results of the piloting including impact on work with the families and to amend the products
(vi) To produce an Innovation Toolkit and Final Innovation Report project report & organise national and transnational mainstreaming and dissemination, including through the use of ECVET & other tools.

3. The 5 partner organisations in the project all had extensive experience of working with the target group & of successfully delivering transnational including EU funded projects. The R & D Centre Linkoping is a collaboration of 9 municipalities in the region of Ostgotland and the University of Linkoping & has led over 100 projects in the welfare field based on a close interaction between research & practice. The NTNU Trondheim Child Welfare Research & Innovation Centre & the Faculty of Social Work ,University of Ljubljana are both research & professional training organisations specialising in this field. APCC in Coimbra is an NGO specialising in the provision of services to people with disabilities & their families, while the Municipality of Cervia directly manages & delivers social work services to families.

4. The main activities of the project included;
(I) The preparation of a Baseline Study/Needs Analysis which pulled together the findings of previous partner research & mapped the partners perceptions of the needs of multichallenged families, services currently available & gaps in existing provision & trining programmes.
(ii) Using the study findings to develop the content the main intellectual outputs I.e. the Competency Framework, the Knowledge Triangle & the Innovation Skills Development Programme. The partners developed an additional product, the ‘Work Assessment Tool’ to assist social workers in their initial assessment of the needs of the individual family & prioritization of interventions.
(iii) Piloting these products through a 12 month training programme with 27 practitioners participating ( minimum 5 from each partner country)..This included both transnational & national components.
(iv) Amending the products & developing 2 further intellectual outputs, the Innovation Toolkit & the Final Innovation Report.
(v) Dissemination & exploitation of the outputs & results which have been continuous throughout the project culminating in multiplier events in each country.

5. The results & impact have been considerable;
* The 5 original intellectual outputs have been developed & finalised following piloting plus an additional output
* 27 practitioners have participated with 85% reporting that the training had a direct impact on their practice.
* Mainstreaming & dissemination has had a major impact in all regions.

EU Grant (Eur)

Funding of the project from EU: 286893 Eur

Project Coordinator


Project Partners

  • Comune di Cervia